Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

For many, voting is a privilege:

From north to south, east to west, approximately 1.3 million eligible Australians are not enrolled to vote.
By Motherpedia
Date: August 08 2013
Editor Rating:

Perhaps it says much about the state of the Australian nation that advocacy organisation, GetUp has felt compelled to offer an incentive to citizens to enrol to vote.

People from many other nations have had to fight long and hard for the right. Australian soliders have fought in other countries on behalf of other people ultimately to exercise that democratic right. And, somewhat ironically, many of the people who come to Australia as refugees or asylum seekers – whether past or present – cherish highly the right to vote once they are citizens.

But as a nation, we've been more fortunate and never had to fight for freedom.

“My parents came here after 1956,” says primary school teacher Lucy Horvath of Brisbane. “They couldn’t wait to become Australian citizens and vote. I don’t think people appreciate that it’s such a privilege to live in a country where that’s not questioned, regardless of your beliefs.”

“It is one of the few areas of life where we are all equal with one vote each. I don’t understand why people don’t want to vote, even if it’s to walk in and give a donkey vote,” she said.

“If I hear someone complaining about the government – federal, state or local – who hasn’t voted, I just ignore them. They abrogated their democratic right; why should I bother listening to them?”

According to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) and GetUp, approximately 1.3 million Australians are either not on the electoral roll or are not up-to-date on the electoral roll.

GetUp is offering people who enrol to vote before the deadline at 8pm next Monday (August 12th) the chance to win a share of $40,000 worth of gold.

“If people need a further incentive to enrol, the chance of winning a share of gold could be that incentive,” said GetUp National Director, Sam McLean.

“If you know someone who isn’t enrolled – a young person, someone who has recently moved – give them a call and tell them they could win five grand. If that’s what it takes to reach the 1.3 million Australians still not on the electoral rolls, it’s worth it,” he said.

Enrolling to vote is simple. It can be done online at and via tablet or smartphone. Paper forms are also available at any AEC office, Australia Post, Centrelink or Medicare outlet.

The Electoral Commissioner, Ed Killesteyn, said it’s a legal requirement for Australian citizens aged 18 years or over on September 7th to enrol and vote.

“If you are not enrolled by the deadline, you won’t be able to vote in the federal election.”

He said that, as well as people who have not enrolled at all, anyone who has moved should check their address on the electoral roll to make sure they vote in the right electorate.

Postal votes are available to people before the election for those who cannot make it to a polling booth on the day.

In the meantime, GetUp says they’ll give away $5,000 in gold to one person in every state and territory who enrols to vote. Here's what to do.

1.  To check the address of your enrolment go to or call the AEC on 13 23 26

2.  To enrol to vote, go to

3.  To enter the GetUp competition for a chance to win $5,000, do step 2 and then go to EnrolforGold and enter.

Electoral rolls close at 8pm Australian eastern standard time on Monday August 12th

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